We arrived safely in Montevideo, Uruguay yesterday morning. All is well after traveling 5980 miles in 24 hours with a toddler, two dogs, and nearly everything we would need for a year or longer. We came through tired, but absolutely fine. It was a little more challenging than last year when we made the same trip with our-then- three-month-old and just a few small suitcases.
All totaled, we had:
11 boxes (thanks Richard, those boxes are amazing!!), 2 large suitcases, 2 duffel bags, (which made up our 15 piece limit) 2 dogs, 5 carry-ons, a stroller, carseat, and the baby, too.
For any of you who may be planning such a trip, here are a few things that have helped us immensely so far:
Double wall boxes: These amazingly sturdy boxes are rated for an extraordinary amount of weight (although the airlines have strict limits) and are still relatively light. You can purchase them through the UPS Stores and Fed EX locations for a hefty price. We got most of ours from a family member who owns a Mechanic shop and gets heavy parts shipped to him on a regular basis. The boxes are amazing and withstood about 50 lbs each, three flights and lots of handling.
A travel crib: After much research, I decided to purchase the Baby Bjorn Travel Light before we left. It has been a god-send. While expensive, it packs up small and incredibly light (11 lbs), is very comfortable and has no weight limit since it sits directly on the ground. Our daughter loved it immediately out of the box and we had her sleeping in this for nearly a month before we left. Now it is her home away from home.
Making arrangements before we left MN: We knew that the dogs would not be able to stay with us at the hotel. Made me sad, but that's life. We contacted the hotel and received a recommendation to a boarding house just a mile down the road. They came to pick the dogs up at the hotel when we arrived, they allow visiting anytime and will bathe and return the dogs to us when we are ready with an apartment.
More to come on our travel tools, adventures, interests, tools. Now, we are on to explore this amazing city and see all there is to see!